Miserable Marriages Part 2: The Abusive Wife

by Tad Lindley

She had an East Coast accent. The crowd of weary travelers was waiting for a bus to take us to a hotel. Our flight had been rerouted to St. Louis and all were to go to a hotel for the night. The lady began to loudly berate her husband in front of God and everybody. With many words she made a complete fool out of him. It hurt me to see him humiliated in public like that.

The abusive wife

If you search your acquaintances you probably know somebody who lives with an abusive wife. These are men who live under a reign of terror. The marriage relationship has become so twisted, that the abusive wife has forbidden the husband to have contact with children from a previous marriage. In other homes he cannot go to open gym without coming home to broken dishes all over the kitchen. In extreme cases, the man gives in. Fearful of the verbal abuse he simply becomes a recluse in his own home. In some marriages the abuse turns physical. Some men, refusing to fight back, have been brutalized to the point of hospitalization. It is not the type of thing a man would talk about with his buddies in the steam bath, but it happens. If you doubt me I suggest that you ask any police officer or minister. Domestic violence is a two way street.

The Lord sees your situation

There are some men who will be reading this article who are painfully familiar with what I am talking about. Women have asked me to write about the abusive husband and I have, but you will not ask me, abused husband, because of the deep shame in letting someone know about your situation. I want you to know that God knows exactly where you are.

It is a desperate one

Nearly 3,000 years ago God saw your situation when he gave Solomon the Proverbs. It is better for a man to dwell on the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house (21:9). Again, It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and angry woman (21:19). Even a woman’s physical beauty is not enough to overcome an abusive spirit. Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion (11:22 NIV).

If you are a man in an abusive marriage you may long ago have given up hope. You could have written this proverb: A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day; restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand (27:15-16). Men have placed dams across some of the mightiest rivers on the earth. They have even walked on the moon. They have made mechanical hearts and exceeded the speed of sound, but man has never restrained the wind.

The only hope for an abused husband

King Solomon leaves a very hopeless feeling in the heart of the man married to an abusive wife. Restraining her is like restraining the wind. There is no restraining the wind. Or is there?

In Mark 4 the disciples were sailing across the Sea of Galilee. Jesus was asleep in the back of the boat. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith? (Mark 4:37-40)

Husband, he can calm your storm

It may seem to you that Jesus has been asleep in your life. And as the great storm has arisen, you have come to live in fear, frustration, and anger. You have tried everything you can think of: fighting back, not fighting back; talking about your feelings, giving the silent treatment; medicating with drugs and alcohol, living clean and sober. Nothing seems to work. It is time to wake up Jesus. You will notice in the scripture you just read, Jesus didn’t do anything about the storm until the disciples had exhausted their own resources and came to him. It was then that he rebuked the wind and the waves, and peace came. If you will seek Jesus and wake him up with prayer and fasting, he will bring you through the storm and out of it. Husband, he knows right where you are. He is waiting for you to wake him.

Reverend Tad Lindley is a minister at the United Pentecostal Church in Bethel, Alaska.

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