Apostle Paul versus John Piper on wife abuse

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month.  As the article in the Houston Chronicle says “This is not a woman’s issue; it’s an everybody issue.”

The past few posts have addressed abuse of women, and this will, too because it is indeed everybody’s issue.  When children can’t bring their friends home with them, the children hurt.  These are memories they take with them every day for the rest of their life.  When daddy beats mama, how do these children grow up to love and respect their husbands?

And yet, as we know, churches demand that girls grow up and respect husbands.  Many girls have seen and felt far too much damage in their own homes by the violence to ever have a good relationship with men.  As we also know, churches are busy telling women what they can’t do, and giving males lordship over their wives and children.  These attitudes bleed out into society and affect people who never darken the steps of a church.

The apostle Paul has been credited with much of what we think we know about women and submission.  But what we have chosen to ignore is what Paul said about wife abuse.  As far as I know, this is the only time it is addressed in the Bible. It is completely ignored by readers today.  They read Ephesians 5 and linger over the passages that tell a wife to submit.

In these letters, Paul is again trying to equate the love relationship that Jesus has for his church and uses the marriage situation to describe it.  It is while he is telling men how they are to love their wives like Christ loved the church, that he suddenly realizes that this is not a real good illustration because many husbands abuse their wives.  So, without missing a beat, he tells husbands that they ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it.”

In other words, “You wouldn’t give yourself a black eye, don’t give her one.”

This is not just a woman’s issue, but what if it were?  Wouldn’t that be enough to spur people on to do something?  Obviously not. 

Please click on the menu at the top and read what John Piper says.  His words should disgust you.  His attitude should disgust you.  But sadly, it is the attitude that we find around us. 

Will you speak up against violence against women?  Will you speak out against a belief system that devalues women and allows such attitudes to find acceptance in the home and the church?

Note:  Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE) has free downloads on abuse they are offering through Saturday, October 15, with membership, or renewal.

About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Apostle Paul versus John Piper on wife abuse

  1. kbonikowsky says:

    Shirley, The links at the top don’t work for me. “Page not found.”


  2. Natasha says:

    I’ve heard before that Malachi 2:16 is also a reference to spousal abuse. The Amplified version seems to put it more clearly than others:

    “For the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I hate divorce {and} marital separation and him who covers his garment [his wife] with violence. Therefore keep a watch upon your spirit [that it may be controlled by My Spirit], that you deal not treacherously {and} faithlessly [with your marriage mate].”


  3. Esther Liu says:

    Dear Shirley: Thank you for the post about John Piper. The link on top does not work. But I googled and watched it last night. It disturbed me so deeply that I could not sleep! I wrote a response to the video and posted it today on my blog. I hope and pray that more people will watch it and let him know how woefully ignorant he sounded.

    Thank you for posting my blog on your site. I will definitely keep following your website. Keep up the good work! BTW, I love what you wrote: Paige Patterson of the SWTBS and Al Mohler, do not speak for me. Mr. Piper and Mr. Grudem do not speak for me. I am a Baptist woman. And I claim my equality in our Southern Baptist churches!!! Way to go!



    • Welcome! Thank you so much for adding your voice to help women. You have a lovely blog and I recommend that my readers visit it. Your article today on John Piper is excellent.


    • Mara says:

      Just FYI Esther.
      That video used to be displayed with other videos on the Desiring God page. But the out cry was so great that Desiring God took it down. They never apologized for it or set the record straight. It just disappeared. Fortunately, my friend Hannah put it up on her youtube channel. That’s where you saw it. If you want to get real miffed, watch some dingbat men argue with Hannah and a few of us over John Piper’s advice for abused wives clear back in 2009. It may give you more stuff to write about. These role worshipers have made themselves into fools for roles and their private interpretation of ‘divine order’ rather than fools for Christ’s sake.



    • Mara says:

      Shirley, have you started moderating your comments.
      I posted a comment and can’t see it, nor a note saying that my comment will be reviewed by blog host.
      Anyway, I thought I’d give Esther Liu another link on the crazy Piper advice.



      • I look at all comments and all spam! I didn’t see your comment. In fact, I haven’t heard from you recently and was concerned. I hope this is not happening to others. Thanks for making me aware of it. I’ll look a the crazy Piper advice and might post it under the Piper, etc. Thanks so much.


      • Mara says:

        It’s the same advice, Shirley, the same youtube video. I’m just linking to different blogs dealing with the stupidity of his comments and the stupidity of men who defend his stupid comments.


      • Mara says:

        Oh, and as far as myself, I’m fine, having to pursue other writing ventures, BUT I still have time to deal with another famous, rock star preacher who gives bad advice passing off a love poem in Scriptures and approved and biblical porn, Mark Driscoll.


      • I read your blog! You did a great job on that. You know you are right about that stuff. Christians think they can say anything – as long as they are doing it in the context of preaching, etc. There was a conference here a few years ago where a religios (?) man in a wheelchair described homosexuality in the most graphic and disturbing terms and not one preacher stood up to him and told him that he was abusing the pulpit. I wasn’t there, but heard about it as I worked in the office of the religious organization that brought him.


  4. Michelle says:

    Piper thinks that allowing oneself to be abused brings glory to God? How many people have walked away from Christ after seeing this video or hearing about these words? People who were considering Christ, but then heard that this is the behavior from women that Christ thinks glorifies him?

    We must pray for Piper: This is twisted thinking.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.