With tears rolling down her cheek, Neha spoke: “Family violence harms love, trust, and care which are the foundation on which intimate human relationships can flourish”. Neha’s life is like a tree fed by toxic water; the moral evil in the form of abuse of the bride and children continues to have power. Violence between spouses is traumatic as its impact ripples out to a couple’s children and other family members. And the tragedy is that the conspiracy of silence in families, churches, and society continues only worsens abuse. No wonder when God sent John the Baptist as a forerunner to the coming of Jesus the Messiah and Lord, his mission was to prepare the way of the Lord; it was by turning the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared,” (Luke 1:17).
The need is to create a safe space where victims can confide instances of past and present abuse and intimate sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse. We must speak against the “silent” evil that exists under our noses but has not been treated. The challenge we face is that women are portrayed negatively or overly perfectly. For example, Eve is considered one who unleashes evil into the world and is depicted as a temptress. Such interpretations of Scripture often assumed that women were responsible for men’s sexual misconduct with them. Men usually forget both Adam and Eve ate the fruit (Gen. 3:6). At the same time, women esteemed and honoured for their virginity and motherhood after marriage are required to submit to man’s authority. Remember, Scripture teaches mutual submission (Eph. 5:21). Scripture teaches both males and females to work side by side: “In the Lord, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman” (1 Cor. 11:11). Christian response to abuse is a matter of justice and righteousness. The practice of Jesus’ example of self-sacrificial love by all will cause families to flourish.