Relationships based on the fear of the Lord bring safety and security. Men who fear God will honor, cherish and understand their wives. Women who fear God will be able to recognize men who do not fear the Lord. This awareness offers women protection from relationships that may lead to exploitation, insecurity and abuse. Your daughters must know this.
Weak men find their security in having women fear them. This is indeed ironic. These men put themselves in the place of God. They demand to be held in awe and reverence.
Exploitive, abusive men will often at first appear to be caring, even to a fault. But their motives are far from pure. As the relationship progresses the caring becomes controlling. The progression continues until a horrific mixture of abuse and placation becomes the norm. Finally, the men in question can only be satisfied by indulging themselves in abusive behavior.
Thus, the ugly relational climate of abuse is established and is passed on from one generation to the next. This is what happens when the fear of God is replaced by the fear of people.
In such relationships, women are made to feel that they are the problem, that they are the reason for the man’s abusive actions. Abusive men work hard to create and maintain this delusion. Women must be helped to break free of this. God must be feared and not the men in their lives. It takes courage to cry out for help, but it needs to happen. If the sinful abuse is verbal reach out to the church. If the abuse is violent and physical, reach out to law enforcement and the church. If a church fails to fully examine what is going on, challenge them to do so. If they still refuse find another church that will.
This plague of abuse has infected our culture. In brief, here are three ways to combat it.
First, our daughters must be taught that God’s purpose for them is to be honored and not manipulated, to be understood and not controlled. They must be warned that there are men who will use the name of God as a means to control and deceive. Not all who say, “Lord, Lord” are to be trusted. Men who love and fear God will nourish, cherish and understand women in general and their wives in particular.
Second, our sons must be taught to truly value women as God commands. Women are not objects to possess. Women are to be honored and served, not controlled and subjugated. Women are created in the image of God and are to be treated as such.
Third, and most importantly, those in the church must be aware that these abusive relationships exist in the church as well. The abuse may be verbal, physical or a combination of both. It must be identified and stopped.
Any relationship will have conflicts and struggles to address. A biblically healthy relationship will be able to resolve these problems as a part of life. But abusive relationships cannot be healed without caring, outside help. And, not to miss the obvious, women can also be abusive in the same ways as mentioned above.
If God is to be feared then the church must act to protect and help those who are caught in the dark culture of abuse. There is much more to be said. There are women who are trapped by the thinking that if they just acted differently the abuse would go away. They don’t realize such thoughts are based in the fear of man and not in the fear of God. Care enough about your brothers and sisters to get involved. Fear God instead of man.
Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress,
and for their children it will be a refuge.
The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
turning a person from the snares of death.