Godly Women Do NOT Endure Abuse

I recently came across this video, which was apparently first released in August 2009. It is no longer available on Piper’s Desiring God website, so I have downloaded it from YouTube. I feel a strong need to address Piper’s response to the question of a woman enduring the abuse of her husband because I believe it is a dangerous and unbiblical view of the meaning of submission in marriage.

To say the least, Piper’s response to the question is disturbing. Why does he laugh after reading the question? Why does he discount verbal abuse as mere “verbal unkindness”? How can he, as a pastor, be so incredibly ignorant about abusive relationships and the dynamics of them?

I could spend several blog posts dissecting this video and addressing a myriad of errors that I find in his teaching, but, for today, I really only want to address the erroneous idea that when a woman submits to abuse, she is behaving biblically or abiding by scriptural teaching.

As a victim of intense verbal abuse, which I “endured” for seven years, I know personally that the submission taking place in an abusive relationship has nothing to do with God. An abused person’s life revolves around her abuser and doing everything that she can to avoid the abuse. She will go against her own beliefs, against the leading of the Holy Spirit, against God’s Word, against the advice of her family and friends, if she thinks that her abuser will approve of her and give her some relief from the abuse. In other words, in the abused person’s life, God is not first; her abuser is. He is her god.

This state of mind means that the abused person is breaking the first of the ten commandments: “You shall have no other gods before me.” It also breaks Jesus’ command to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind. The person enduring abuse is consumed with the abuser and only her abuser, at the expense of all of her other relationships, including her relationship with God.

Any teaching that encourages a woman to live in a way that separates her from God is wrong. I truly believe that, in an abusive situation, the best way for a woman to serve God (and any others who may depend on her) is to leave the abusive situation and get help.

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