A healthy community, especially a faith community as full of health professionals as ours, (if it were healthy) could do much to educate what constitutes abuse, to empower choice (IT IS OK TO SAY NO!) Sadly, the advice one gets from the laity or the collar is often dead wrong.
Some of us can observe the patterns in couples at church, and sense a deeply hidden “power addiction”(perpetrator) and a well groomed “enabler/codependent” (victim)-not that there is much that can (or should) be done without consent and request.
Even when the law, and mental health gets involved and abuser is put in treatment, the victim (usually, but not always, the woman) will even testify that the abuser wasn’t that bad, it wasn’t often, she could deal with it (implying, change, or “save” him, even move him back into marital home afterwards. This is an egregious result of the long-standing policy of “stay and love him” standard church advice. Pastors, sadly, are not trained in this. Undoubtedly WOMEN PASTORS WOULD BE A VERY IMMEDIATE HELP in what too often results in death of the victim in the worst scenarios. That male pastors even think they can counsel an abused female (talk about some other hellish pitfalls there) is plain straight hubris on the male pastors part.
Just a few short years ago I buried my “longest friend”, a terminal-degree educated health professional involved with a well camouflaged monster of a spouse. She was surrounded by caring professional friends and family who deeply loved her -but she still chose to paint the sky black. Her last breath was a prayer for her abuser-who was incarcerated-finally-for heinous assault on his own grand daughter. He is due to be released next year.
@niteguy2, yes, it is perhaps an axis ll mental health issue to believe that only men can pastor, and that those pastoring men can do anything their flock calls them to.
I would go further and suggest that Adam, in the shadow of the apple tree, by first trying to hide their mutual sin, and then blaming Eve (and God!) may have been the inception of mental health disorders, and certainly the subjugation of a group of people-whether said subjugation is on matters of gender, age, race, culture, etc etc.