Abuse Is Wrong Because Women Are People, Not Because You Have Daughters

CBE International hosts my post on women and men relating to each other in God’s family today. Here’s an excerpt, and you can click over to read the rest.

Christian leaders will often appeal to men’s sense of responsibility for the women in their lives in order to inspire empathy toward women in general. But the implication of statements like these is that women are extensions of their fathers, brothers, and husbands and that’s how we know it’s wrong to mistreat them. Women become men’s possessions instead of independent people who deserve respect simply because they too are created in the image of God. … [click here to read the rest]

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7 Responses to Abuse Is Wrong Because Women Are People, Not Because You Have Daughters

  1. Anu Riley says:

    Everyone, PLEASE read this! It’s incredibly powerful and well said.

    “A sense of ownership of women, even one that arises out of a belief in men’s benevolent duty, means treating women as less than the fully equal people God made them to be…..Whether male or female, our worth or worthiness is always based in God.”

    I DO think that a sense of empathy helps men to understand the evils and the intensity of abuse, by personalizing it. If that were your wife, daughter, mother, etc.—how would you feel?

    I’ve read comments, in understandable outrage against patriarchal men—-asking, what if that were YOUR loved one exposed to abuse and evils? They are appealing to their sense of decency and morality.

    Nothing wrong with that. Jesus appealed the the Pharisees in a similar way, telling them that if they would be willing to rescue a sheep on the Sabbath, why would they not want to heal a person on the Sabbath? Matthew 12:11

    Note: this argument usually doesn’t work IMO. Most people NEVER think it will happen to them, or someone they love. We tend to think it happens to “someone else,” and never to us. There’s also a tendency to think that we would never ALLOW it to happen to us, or our loved ones.

    This is foolish thinking. I believe NO victim ever thought it would happen to them, and I also believe NO victim “allowed” it to happen to her.

    I once read a blog by a woman who was abused by her now ex pastor, ex husband—-who believes no one saw her abuse because they saw her as an “extension” of her “then-beloved by the community” husband. They did not see her as a separate person, suffering in silence but certainly putting up red flags that she was in deep trouble.

    If we are supposedly pro life, you have to care about a life outside of the womb, as much as we scream and shout about the “right to exist” of that life while it is inside the womb.

    We claim it’s made in His image. That life begins at conception. That that life has rights, even in the womb, and even though ti’s not fully formed yet. No woman has the right to terminate that life, because that is murder in God’s eyes, and murder is a sin against Him, and against that life.

    All right, if you really, truly believe that—then you better darn well apply that thinking to victims (male or female). Abuse is murder. It destroys a person from the inside out. They are dead inside, even though they are physically alive. But their sense of worth, dignity, and wholeness are GONE.

    That is not what God intended when we insist that all babies be born, that they should ever live like that. That is not the life He has called us to. He came to give us life to the fullest, but we are promoting death and despair when we treat others this way—-with patriarchy and condescension (I’ll protect you because I partly own you)

    Hogwash. You don’t partially or even minutely own anyone, who you married or who you helped bring into this world. Christ owns them.

  2. Pastor Bob says:

    WELL STATED!

  3. NJ says:

    This is a good point to make, and one I’ve never actually heard before. It’s a pity that so many professing Christian men need to have their self interest appealed to, before *maybe* being persuaded to practice the golden rule with the entire female sex.

  4. I totally agree with Anu Riley that abuse destroys a person from the inside. Outsiders may not notice it, because like she said, they can only see the “beloved-by-the-community” husband (or wife).

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