Faqs

Faqs Title

FAQS How common is abuse in intimate relationships? Theologian Response

How common is abuse in intimate relationships?

Theologian Response

It is impossible to know the prevalence of abuse in a particular congregation because it is so carefully concealed. We do know that literature about domestic abuse disappears very fast when it is placed in the women’s washroom. Last Sunday during a “moment for mission” in our middle-sized church, a woman told of her ministry to abused women, and afterwards three women had the courage to address it in the foyer and to disclose that they were in the midst of crisis situations. How many more did not dare to come forward? The prevalence is great enough in all churches so that pastors need continually to be aware of the need. Ezekiel gave this message about pastoral responsibility toward those who are being abused:

A Word to Pastors
Hear then, O shepherds, the word of the Lord! As I live - declares the Lord God: Because My flock has been a spoil - My flock has been a prey for all the wild beasts, for want of anyone to tend them, since My shepherds have not taken thought of My flock, for the shepherds tended themselves instead of tending the flock - hear indeed, O shepherds, the word of the Lord: Thus said the Lord God: I am going to deal with the shepherds! I will demand a reckoning of them for My flock.(Ezekiel 34:7-9)

God’s Promise
Thus says the Lord God: Here am I! I am going to take thought for My flock, and I will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when some animals in his flock have gotten separated, so I will seek out My flock, I will rescue them from all the places to which they were scattered on a day of cloud and gloom. . . . I will look for the lost, and I will bring back the strayed; I will bandage the injured, and I will sustain the weak. . . And as for you, My flock, thus said the Lord God: I am going to judge between one animal and another. To the rams and the bucks: Is it not enough to you to graze on choice grazing ground, but you must also trample with your feet what is left from your grazing? And is it not enough for you to drink clear water, but you must also muddy with your feet what is left? And My flock graze on what your feet have trampled and drink what your feet have muddied. Assuredly, thus said the Lord God to them: Here am I, I am going to decide between the stout animals and the lean. Because you pushed with flank and shoulder against the feeble ones and butted them with your horns until you scattered them abroad, I will rescue My flock and they shall no longer be a spoil. I will decide between one animal and another. . . . (34:11-22)

Dr. Catherine Clark Kroeger, President, Peace and Safety in the Christian Home (PASCH)