Making changes to tackle the problem of domestic abuse in our midst needs to start with understanding and accepting the reality of sin. As a community where every member has human nature, sin will manifest itself in the same ways it always has. From the families of the patriarchs until today there are examples of domestic abuse – in common, they all have been fuelled by a sense of entitlement and abusers showing an unwillingness to be accountable to anyone including the Father. We have been called to a life of separation and holiness, but not all who have been called have rejected hurtful lusts and put on the new man. Instead there are some amongst us, just as Judas was among the company of Christ and his disciples, whose depraved conduct (2 Peter 2:2) will be brought to light. Unfortunately, as Peter shows, their conduct will bring the way of truth into disrepute (v3) and Peter spares no words in describing their end: “They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish” (NIV). When we understand this we are better able to respond to the problem. To be clear we are not advocating witch hunts, or a paranoid anxiety that every brother or even many brothers are abusers. We need an awareness of the problem. Where we see these behaviours or there are reports of these behaviours we need to respond effectively.
If this article raises concerns you have about domestic violence in your own life or those around you can call 1800RESPECT (If in Australia) or similar services in other countries. There is also a list of support services on this website including Christadelphian Support Services.
Image attribution: "Holding hands" https://www.flickr.com/photos/samcaplat/4521089467 Sam Caplat 2010-04-13