Today I'm writing about domestic violence at A Life Overseas.
The article is mostly a case study submitted to me by a reader, a powerful and important story. I hope you'll hop over and read it.
At the end of the article, I've included some notes about how domestic violence is usually treated in therapy, and resources for victims. These are things we should all be aware of, I think, in case we're ever confronted with this situation in our own lives or in the lives of loved ones. It's good to know where to turn for help.
And then I've taken the plunge and answered the question that so many women ask: is domestic violence grounds for divorce?
My answer to this is YES.
Domestic violence is grounds for divorce, I believe.
In fact, I believe that many kinds of abuse are grounds for divorce: verbal abuse, emotional abuse, economic abuse, spiritual abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse.
I'm sure I'll write more about this later, but the nugget of why I believe in casting a wide net with divorce, when the Mosaic Law says adultery only, is this:
justice and mercy.
I think we have to look beyond the letter of the law to justice and mercy.
From the article at A Life Overseas:
The church has been careful to tell people that the only ground for divorce is adultery, and I am aware that this is the boundary stated in Mosaic law.
While the Mosaic law may be well-meant as a deterrent to divorce, to abusive people it becomes a boundary that allows them to skate on the side of “righteousness” while perpetrating all kinds of sin and abuse on their families.
I believe that we are held to a higher standard than the Mosaic law. We are held to the standard of justice and mercy, as Jesus warned:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!” Matthew 23:23
“And you experts of the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.” Luke 11:46
Justice and mercy matter most.
May we never forget.