It’s not on the list of acceptable reasons in the bible, apparently.
From The Christian Post:
Physical abuse by one’s spouse is not a biblical reason for divorce, says a pastor at Saddleback Church in southern California.
Tom Holladay, teaching pastor at the megachurch founded by best-selling author Rick Warren, says the Bible only gives two cases where divorce is acceptable: abandonment and a physical affair.
“I wish there were a third in Scripture having been involved as a pastor with situations of abuse,” Holladay said in an audio clip posted on Saddleback Church’s Web site. “There is something in me that wishes there were a Bible verse that says, ‘If they abuse you in this-and-such kind of way, then you have a right to leave them.’”
Physical abuse, he defined, is someone “literally” beating another person up regularly.
“I don’t mean they grab you once. I mean they’ve made a habit of beating you regularly,” he clarified.
But while Holladay believes divorce is not a biblical option in cases of domestic violence, he strongly recommends the couple to separate. During the separation, the couple should undergo counseling and try to mend the marriage, he said.
“Separation combined with counseling has been proven to provide healing in people’s lives,” the pastor said, noting that his church, Saddleback, offers such a program.
Of course he’d like to promote what his church has to offer in cases like this but I think I’d like to see evidence of studies that can back that up.
There are a lot of reasons abuse happens, and many ways a person can justify abuse. Is counseling enough to fix that? And, is a mental health professional involved at all or is it just a prayer circle asking god to grant the strength to endure hardships?
The pastor explained that God understands the pain of a difficult marriage. The nation of Israel in the Bible is depicted as the bride of God, but Scripture also expresses in great detail the pain of God as Israel tries to divorce itself from its spiritual husband.
Through the Bible, people can see that God understands the pain of a hurtful marriage and can offer comfort, strength, perspective and wisdom to those also suffering from such a relationship, the pastor said.
“Does God expect us to live with this pain? No,” Holladay stated. “I think he expects us to ask him for wisdom to do the things that would cause the pain to begin to be solved. He says we’re one and as Christians, as believers, the Bible says a husband is to sacrifice for his wife and the wife is to respect her husband.”
There see? All better. Thanks god, I guess I’m cured.
If you’re in an abusive relationship, this site has information on what you can do to protect yourself and your kids from further harm and if you’re in Canada, check these resources for some of the same.