Lies Hope believed that kept her from standing up to abuse:
“A wife must submit to her husband in everything. What ever he says, she must do or agree with.”
Truth – a wife is to be a helper for her husband, a warrior to fight for the best for both of them and for the relationship. If a wife submits to, therefore enabling, abusive and selfish behavior, that is destructive to all involved.
“The man is the head of the home, therefore what he says, goes, no matter what it is.”
Truth – the husband is to the head of the family in the same way that Christ shows he is the head of the Church, by giving himself up, by serving in love and treating her with love. He is not to hang on to power in order to get his own way.
“If I’m a good enough wife, he will stop abusing me.”
Truth – one partner can never please the other enough for him to stop trying to control her through abuse. One partner cannot make an unhealthy marriage healthy by herself.
“If I pray hard enough, God will hear me and change my husbands heart so he will love me and not abuse me.”
Truth – people have free will. God does not force someone to obey Him. If a person is determined to have a hard heart, god will let him.
“A wife’s body does not belong to her; it belongs to her husband. Therefore she must be ready and willing to have sex with her husband whenever and however he wants it.”
Truth – the husband’s body also belongs to the wife. They are to both please each other physically. And a wife can also tell her husband what he can and cannot do to her body.
It is a mutual relationship for the benefit of both, not for one partner to use the other selfishly.
“Children are better off living with both parents.”
Truth – the example they see of abuse can be very damaging, especially if they are being abused as well. Do you want your children to be adults who think this behavior is acceptable in their relationships? Do you want your children-in-law and grandchildren to be in the same place you are?
“It’s not abuse unless he physically hurts me.”
Truth – abuse can be emotional, verbal, psychological, financial, sexual, and spiritual as well.
“God hates divorce. It is never an option for a Christian.”
Truth – God allows divorce when one partner’s heart is so hard that he or she abuses the partner or commits adultery or leaves the partner. It can be argued that true Christians do not commit such sins. Sins like these break the marriage covenant, so the divorce actually happens before papers are even filed.
“Marriage is an unbreakable, permanent covenant. You are married until one of you dies”
Truth – God divorced Israel after they repeatedly broke the covenant He made with them. And we know that God doesn’t sin!