Spousal Abuse and Tending the Flock

What about vacation in SoCal, where one’s brain never freezes??? :slight_smile:

Take it positively, as a matter of keeping your health in shape. Imagine how good is the physical exercise…

I agree. It would be far more practical if all pastors were FIRST licensed in MFCC and THEN took seminary training. The first is far more valuable than the language and homiletics required.

The problem: they attempt to function as family therapists and as pastor they are seldom, if ever, licensed. Pastors have chaired many church board meetings with members when divorced members were involved. As a board member many years ago there was a wonderful physician, former missionary to Pakistan who helped to initiate the SdA hospital in Karachi. Following his wife’s death from cancer he reconnected with an old friend and they married. The church met to question him about marrying someone who’s divorce was not yet final. They decided to disfellowship him, a member in long standing.
He immediately joined another SDA church a few miles away. and was an a$$et to that congregation.

The games Adventists play!


The brain may never freeze, but there is the smog . . . . I’ve heard (and you can verify or refute this) that conditions have improved, but when I visited a friend in med-school at Loma Linda back in '71, it was so bad that I couldn’t take a deep breath without coughing. Also couldn’t find more than 10 stars in the sky on a clear night.

Other than that, I’d love to be in the So. Calif. desert now.

As for spousal abuse, I think we can all pretty much agree on the fact that the church, and society in general, has not done a very good job of mitigating the damage done, or attempting to prevent it. I wonder if part of the problem is that those of us who have never experienced it (from either side) don’t quite know how to relate to individuals who are involved in it, or what to do about it. There is this “none of my business” mentality that gets in the way.

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Elaine, I fully agree with the point you’re making, which is that the church should not meddle in these sorts of situations. But what is the legality of the marriage in the case you mentioned? In Australia, if you’ve been married, you can’t marry someone else until your divorce from the previous marriage is final.


This Sabbath’s Sabbath school lesson …“Dealing with FIGHTS” had a picture of a women and man yelling at each other.
Did your class deal with DV or issues related to it? Did the class offer any education on how to deal with verbal abuse or how to lessen it? Did it deal significantly with what causes fights or divorce…or irreconcilable differences?

And there is more precedence in that the SDA church herself shows how to abuse the female population, all for the glory of God.

Impossible. How can the church console “the hurting and mending” when she herself has spent all her energies in the breaking of her own female population? How can one draw blood from turnips?

Until our church takes a look at the mirror and decides who should be changing, progress is not in our church’s future.


"My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray and turned them loose in the mountains. They have lost their way and can’t remember how to get back to the sheepfold.” Jeremiah 50:6 (NLT)

The last portion of the article uses a passage that seems to attribute responsibility for the outcome of the event to a pastor or pastors. Is this a fair assessment?

Pride and self-centeredness are at the heart of most disputes. That is part of what we discussed this morning. The solutions are found in the gospel. Elaine’s favorite text–Matt. 7:12, if followed, would end most fights before they start. Paul’s counsel to esteem others better than ourselves would have a similar effect. As Christians, we know these things, but rarely do we put them into practice.

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Are there any verses in Proverbs CH 17, 18 or 19 that can practically deal with gender conflicts or spousal verbal abuse?

This issue cannot be dealt with in one SS class. It requires much more specific education than it can be taught 30 minutes.

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Fact is that the central problem in domestic violence is always POWER & CONTROL. Not just some little pride and self-centeredness.


OK …so what should basically be covered in 30 minutes to make effective use of time considering the use of Prov 17,18, 19?

What generates the need for power & control?

It appears that the male dominance for ages has created a kind of sense of entitlement and men in general have a problem seeing women becoming more emancipated. Those men feel that they have to preserve their power and control in order to be “real men.”

Fear is certainly an basic factor in this process.


MDiv students at Andrews University have to take classes in Pastoral Christian Counseling, Marriage and Families and Interpersonal Relationship as part of their program. In addition, there is a MA in Education with an emphasis on Family Life. The thing is these classes in the MDiv program only provides a snippet of information, compared to a specific MFT or MFCC program. Pastors are spiritual leaders first and foremost. They are being equipped, but they will always provide a spiritual focus to DV and abuse. In these cases, they should always refer to a DV specialist intervention program or a Christian Counselor.

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Dispute and Domestic Voilence are very different. At the very core of DV is the power and control issues, with stem from:-
Unresolved emotional issue.
Undiagnosed mental health issue.
Distorted view of gender roles
Cultural norms/ expectations of gender
Drug and alcohol misuse

Dispute can be attributed to pride and self-centredness, but within disputes abuse can be present.


What impresses me also is that the feminists and certain others seem to revel in picturing the woman as the abused partner

Whilst I agree that gender abuse is not just about male to female abuse, and there is a rise in female to male abuse, abuse is never tolerable. However, clearly highlights the female, and her treatment by the church at the hand of her abuser- which unfortunately happens too often.


Thank you for sharing that very personal story Robert. I’m sure that wasn’t easy for you.

I hear you. What good will it do to grind them down further, haven’t they already been ground down? How much lower into the dirt must they go before mercy is handed out. Apparently, for some, down to the depths of hell.

It is sad that, as you say, some/many churches aren’t equipped for such situations; and personally I wouldn’t have the faintest idea how one would fix this. I think many of us, myself included, think too much in black and white. No “50 shades of grey” allowed here.


As Sylvester the cat would say: “Sufferin’ succotash,” did you just agree with sufferingsunfish!?!?

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