In case anyone needs this…
A note about the signs of abuse by the National Hotline for Domestic Violence:
Keep in mind this was not written by believers, so some of these things, we are not going to agree with as we filter it through the lens of Scripture…
1. Abortion is murder, so a husband would be right not to want his wife to have an abortion and to try to stop her from killing their baby.
2. A husband asking his wife to limit certain unhealthy friendships or contact with toxic family members may be wise leadership.
3. A husband may also ask his wife to work less so that she can focus more on being at home and caring for their family. That would also be godly leadership in most situations.
4. A husband may ask his wife to be more responsible with money (if she has been spending more than they can afford) and not to spend the family into debt. That would be wise leadership.
A godly man may ask things of his wife and seek to lead and allow her to choose to submit to him or not. An ungodly man will demand and attempt to force his wife into things against her will.
There can be times a godly husband may be firm. But he is not going to try to force his wife into submission or hurt her to get her to submit to him.
But if a man demands that his wife to have zero contact with any other people, demands that she submit to him, demands that she not go to church or see any other people at all, takes away all access to finances, and is abusive in other ways, as well… that is a problem.
Unfortunately, I have seen wives treated like this, as if they are prisoners. There is often a lot of spiritual, emotional, and sometimes also physical abuse that goes along with this. I don’t want any wife to experience that!
I hope that makes sense.
And let’s keep in mind that there are different levels of “abuse” and that there would need to be different responses based on what is happening. And – I think it is important to remember that all sin is abusive. Our sin is abusive to our husbands, their sin is abusive to us. So – I do want to be careful. We can potentially call almost anything that is sin “abuse.” And I don’t want to use this term lightly. I pray for God’s wisdom for each person in each particular circumstance.