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Battered into Submission

Domestic violence is an unqualified evil.

Introduction

Not long ago, someone said to me, "I've never heard a sermon about violence in the home. I've never heard the preacher pray about it. I've never seen an education class about it—and I've been in the church my whole life." I took that challenge to heart.

What's wrong with this picture?

A woman had just recovered from a brutal and bloody beating at the hands of her husband. After years of violence, she was left with a deep despair she could not overcome. In spite of marriage counseling, threats on her part, and tearful promises on his part, the beatings continued until she no longer had any place to turn.

As she pondered the hopelessness of her situation, she remembered an offer a friend had made: "Come to our Bible study," the friend had said. "Our pastor is wonderful. He's so close to God." It was a glimmer of hope, an avenue of help she had never explored.

That night she attended the Bible study and heard the preacher say that every problem could be solved through prayer. She wanted to believe that, and she wanted her husband to believe it, too. She wanted to believe that she could rid their home of the terrible violence that had dominated their lives. She hurried home and pleaded with her husband to attend the next Bible study and to come under the counsel of this godly pastor. Wanting to please her and win her favor, he agreed. They attended the Bible study the following week, and the next day they confessed to the pastor the violence that had been so much a part of their married life.

The pastor listened carefully. Then he turned his chair to face the wife and directed all his counseling to her. He told her it was God's plan that the man should be the head of the home. He reminded her of Ephesians 5:22–24: ...

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Marlin Vis is pastor of Southridge Reformed Church in Portage, Michigan. A graduate of Western Theological Seminary, he is a former teacher and football coach.

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Sermon Outline:

Introduction

I. Wife battering is an evil

II. Men, use power to protect

III. Victims, it's not your fault

IV. The church should care and get involved

Conclusion