Thursday, December 8, 2011


Sometimes in a marriage one spouse will become wounded, and will try to get back at the offender. Needless to say this is not the way a believer is to react to hurt or pain. We are to give a blessing instead of an insult. We are to bless and not curse. I think we all understand that.

I was watching Dr. Phil (yes, I watch Dr Phil :) the other day where he was interviewing a couple who had been devastated by one affair after another. It all started when the husband had an affair, then the wife retaliated by having her own affair; then the husband had another and on and on it went until the marriage was wrecked on the rocks of revenge.

However, what I want to address at this point is a terrible situation that at times may evolve from a felt need for revenge ... and that is abuse. Childish one-up-manship can escalate into an issue that is much more serious.

We received a call one evening from a man telling us that we needed to get to their house right away, because he had already hit his wife and didn't know what he was going to do next. We raced to their residence to find two wide-eyed children, a wife sitting at the kitchen table with her broken glasses in front of her, and a ranting husband pacing back and forth. The wife had done something to hurt him, and he felt justified in striking her. We found out this was not a one-time occurrence but a regular affair. 

Let me very clear about this: God does not intend for a wife -- or husband -- to remain in an abusive situation. He does not give grace for that. He gives wisdom for you to make the decision to seek safety for you and your children. This is the one situation where my husband and I advise separation until the offending party can undergo counseling to deal with the underlying cause of the abuse.

Unfortunately as far as we know, the wife in the previous scenario never got out of the danger her husband placed her and her children under. She chose to try to keep him appeased. The tragedy is that they may have stayed married, but unless he received some help, the harm done to the children and his wife had to be severe and greatly hinder their emotional health.

Don't let a silly desire to get even escalate into something much more harmful, even dangerous. Give a blessing, not a curse.

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