Many years ago, I sat in my best friend’s home, and she said, “last night my husband got so mad because dinner wasn’t ready when he got home, that he threw the pot of chili against the wall.” I was horrified and could not imagine how someone could throw food and make such a mess and then walk away from it as if nothing had happened while she cleaned it up. My friend stayed with her husband and I am sure the chili incident was just one such event in their many years of marriage. Eventually he had a stroke and was confined to a wheelchair and she had to take care of him for years.
In the 10 years I have been working for women’s equality, I have heard many such stories. It could just as easily be blood splattered against a wall. Christian families are as prone to these abuses as those who never attend church. The bible is quoted and used against the wife when she speaks up for herself. She is accused of not submitting to the husband. She lives on tenterhooks not knowing what the night will bring when he walks through the door.
Shirley Fessel writes about spousal abuse in her workbook Redemption from Biblical Battering (available on Amazon and on Kindle). You can find more on her website www.shirleyfessel.com.
Married to a minister who abused her while quoting scripture for over 10 years, Shirley writes of her experience and deliverance from the marriage and her personal journey to finding freedom. The book leads the reader in examining what is happening to her and how she feeds this emotional abuse. I think of my friend with the chili against the wall. He knew she would clean the mess up and make him another pot. This book will show women how to change their reaction to such behavior.
This subject is hard to read about, but there is a pattern that abusers take, and there is a pattern that those who are abused follow. This book will help you recognize what is happening. Understanding how the abuser works and your natural response to this abuse will lead you in your path toward wellness and eventual redemption from biblical battering.
While Shirley Fessel does not outright recommend leaving the abuser, I do. Children grow up and can leave an abusive home, and a wife should be able to do the same. This book will help her as she grows in wisdom and maturity.
I highly recommend this book Redemption from Biblical Battering. Those who are currently being abused should read this book (I recommend hiding the book and reading it in secret). Children who were raised in a home where their mother was abused should read this book as it will help them recognize what was happening. Those who have family members who are being abused should read this book as it will help them understand how a wife can stay with a husband who is abusing her. Pastors should read this book and acknowledge what is happening in Christian homes and make every effort to help women who are being abused. Counselors should read this book and even though they know it already, they need to see a new perspective on it.
I am not a counselor and have no knowledge of the course women should take when being abused. What I do know is that the Bible was never intended to be a hammer over women’s heads.