A woman who grew up in a Church of God family reports that her mother was severely beaten during those years. Her father claimed he beat her mother to “get her under submission,” and that the beatings were necessary for her salvation and to beat “Satan out of her.”
He beat her with various objects, including a Bible. He was careful to leave bruises only where they could be covered up, so it wouldn’t be obvious to others what was happening.
He not only administered frequent beatings, but also abused her verbally and mentally. He berated her, calling her filthy names, and used various tactics to keep her in a state of cowering fear, uncertainty, and mental anguish.
The man’s “church face,” however, was quite the opposite of his behavior at home. In public he was kind and courteous, complimenting his wife, doing acts of service for others in the Church. For years, few knew or suspected that he was an abuser, although some later admitted they knew “something bad” was going on, but did not know what to do about it.
Unfortunately, this story is only one of who knows how many examples of abuse that have occurred among families in the Church of God over the years. I know personally of several similar examples.
It’s important that we understand what abuse is and what God’s word really teaches about it. We need to understand clearly that there is never a justification for abusive conduct, and that God condemns abuse.Continue reading