Marriage is an institution ordained by God and revered by many Christians worldwide. However, statistics show that over 50% of marriages in the United States, Christian or not, end in divorce. While everyone would hope for a happy and loving union, the reality is that not all Christian marriages end well. Some marriages lead to severe abuse and psychological trauma that often go unacknowledged.
Divorce abuse is a term used to describe the violence and mistreatment that occurs before, during, and after a divorce. Victims of divorce abuse face everything from humiliation, coercion, and harassment to physical violence, financial abuse, and stalking. Sadly, divorce abuse also occurs within Christian marriages. Survivors of divorce abuse within Christian marriages have come forward to speak out on this issue.
One of such survivors, Kristin Daley, in her book, “The Path to Freedom: Surviving Domestic Violence and Abuse,” paints a picture of the darkness that some Christian marriages hide behind closed doors. Kristin, a Christian herself, had high hopes for her marriage but was met with constant emotional and psychological abuse from her husband. She narrates her story of constant humiliation, being subjected to scripture twisting, manipulated into financial bondage, and threatened with isolation from her children. Kristin eventually found the courage to leave the abuse that became unbearable, but not without facing further taunts and insinuations from people who thought divorce was not an option for Christians.
Another survivor, Mary DeMuth, in her book, “We too: How the Church can Respond Redemptively to the Sexual Abuse Crisis,” tells of her story of abuse in a Christian marriage. Mary spoke of physical, sexual, spiritual, and emotional abuse she experienced from her husband, leading her to think she had limited options. She had no one to confide in, and the church culture seemed to prioritize family unity above her safety. Eventually, Mary found rescue and healing from the abuse years later, but the psychological scars still linger.
Christian marriages are not immune from divorce abuse, and it is time for the truth to be told. Survivors of divorce abuse within Christian marriages need support and encouragement to speak out, break free from the abuse, and find healing. Instead of shaming or isolating them, the church should step forward with resources, guidance, and understanding. In the light of God’s grace, healing and redemption are possible.
In conclusion, survivors of divorce abuse within Christian marriages have come forward to share their stories, shedding light on the dark side of Christian marriages. While divorce may not be the Christian ideal, it’s essential to recognize that sometimes it’s the healthiest option for abuse victims. The church must rise to the occasion and provide support, love, and resources to aid the healing journey of divorce abuse survivors. With grace and care, victims of divorce abuse can find hope, healing, and restoration in their lives.