The Lie that is Domestic Abuse

By Rev. David Wilson Rogers |  November 30, 2013

Wendy will never forget the moment they met. He had just moved to town and immediately became active in their church. The magical chemistry between them was so amazing, it makes the most romantic poetry seem mundane. After a 6-month courtship, Rob popped the question and Wendy was truly the happiest she had ever been. Raised in a strong Christian home, Wendy was never without her faith in God and had long prayed for a good, Christian man to become her husband. As the only daughter in a home with three older brothers, Wendy was a true bridal princess and at last, the day came and they both said “I do” before leaving for the honeymoon—then it began. 

It was slow at first. The cues were, in fact, so subtle that she hardly noticed them for what they were. Yet, in hindsight, she felt something was wrong but because she loved her husband, Wendy was afraid to confront the lingering issues in her head. Rob acted as if he owned her now that they were married. He would demand to see her cell phone and question her about comments she had made on Facebook or about his condemning opinions about her friends. 

Over time, the harsh questioning and critical judgment escalated to increasingly controlling behavior. Rather than just criticize her friends, he started demanding that she distance herself from them because of their dangerous influence. At church, he required her to step down from the children’s Sunday School she had taught for years so she could attend the one he told her to attend. At home his demands for everything from sex-on-demand to unrealistic perfectionism in household chores were increasing and her ability to keep him happy was decreasing. Yet, the fear of his volatile anger and frightening temper kept her trying. 

Wendy eventually spoke to the pastor of her church and Wendy was reminded of her responsibility to be a Biblical wife and submit to the spiritual authority of her husband, as well as praised for marrying such a Godly man and up-and-coming leader in the church. The Pastor also reminded her what they had said in pre-marriage counseling that the first year of marriage was often the most difficult and that she just needed to stop having negative thoughts about her marriage and husband because that was not God’s will for her life or her marriage. 

The beautiful and gregarious bridal princess now felt more like a beaten-down Cinderella in her own home. Not only had her prince charming turned out to be her worst nightmare, her beloved church was now telling her that the troubles she felt in her marriage were her fault and that God, not to mention her angry husband, demanded that she just work on being a better wife. Wendy was never more alone.  Over time, she sank into a catastrophic depression. Much of what once brought her joy was now a disgraceful sin for which her husband and his god would punish her. Her dreams of a happy marriage were also dashed in a prison sentence with a man to whom she was now enslaved, but bound in a sacred covenant to keep because God hates divorce. 

Wendy was living a lie—a lie that many in the church and our modern culture blindly accept as truth. Wendy is a victim of domestic abuse and as much as God hates divorce, God hates Wendy’s suffering more! The fact is, their marriage was over the moment Rob started treating Wendy as his property, rather than with the love with which Christ loves the church. 

Eventually, Wendy got out of her prison of abuse, but not without serious scars—some of them physical, most of them emotional and spiritual. Yet her story reminds the church of a very serious reality. As Christians, we have an obligation to protect Wendy, not send her back to her doom in the name of so-called “Biblical Marriage.” 


Domestic Violence is a crime and if you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, there is help. Nobody needs to suffer in silence or all alone amid this sinful reality. In Carlsbad, you may call the Crisis Hotline at (575) 885-4615, any time day or night. A real person will answer the phone and help you get the help you need. Calls are confidential. Outside of Carlsbad or in the event of an emergency, always call 911. 

There is nothing that justifes abusive behavior in the home--not God, not the church, not the Bible, and cerntaintly not a covenant. 

Rev. David Wilson Rogers