2Co 6:14-18 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (15) What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? (16) What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (17) Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, (18) and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”
I once had a target of an abuser tell me how her pastor and other members of her church and her parents were pressuring her to remain married to her abuser. They were giving her the usual gibberish about divorce not being permitted by God, do a better job submitting to him, and all the typical lines used by the usual suspects in these cases.
Her response to them was classic:
If my husband were any other person who does the evil things he does, you would be telling me to have nothing to do with him. He is the very kind of person a Christian is not to be bound together with.
Many of you have caught this same kind of pressure when you were dealing with some other abuser who was, say, a close relative. “Well yes, she is a very difficult person, but she is your mother/sister/grandmother….”. If that abuser were anyone else besides a relative, they would never be insistent that you maintain a relationship with such an evil person.
So why is it that marriage or bad luck of the draw in a close relative negates wisdom? Why are we supposedly bound to stay in relationship with evil when it is “all in the family?” There are several reasons, but I can tell you the chief one. It is because if you will keep on taking the blows dealt you by the evil person, life is easier for everyone else. Your pastor can boast that he preserved a “marriage.” Church members don’t have to admit that evil has crept in among them. Family members can keep pretending that their family is intact. And, of course, all of this is energized by the lies of the abuser himself. Lies that blame and accuse and guilt YOU.
So let me reiterate this gem of wisdom in question form, put to everyone who pressures an abuse victim to keep on keeping on in the status quo misery:
If this abuser were anyone else besides a relative by marriage or by chance of birth, would you not tell your children or your sister to stay away from him entirely? Why then are you insisting that she remain in intimate, familial relationship with this evil instead of helping her do what the Lord tells us – come out from among them and be separate?