“Wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church; and he is the savior of the body…Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it…” (Ephesians 5: 21-29)KJV.
From a Christian perspective, domestic violence is seen as a satanic cleverness and tactic to scatter a family through a misunderstanding between husbands and wives, and between parents and children if it is not quickly and carefully resolved. When misunderstanding results in abusive behaviors, foul language, long-term grudges, physical assaults, verbal attacks, emotional manipulation, threats of actions to dominate, hurt, force, or embarrass your spouse, parents to children, and children to parents, domestic violence has set in.
No matter how close the relationship is, there will be a reason to step on one’s toes. That cannot be left out. It is not the offense that matters to God in the family. It is how we handle the matter to still make family what God wants it to be. The following are workable factors that can solidify marriage.
1. Trace the source of the misunderstanding.
Quickly get to know the source of misunderstanding before it becomes tense violence. Both the husband and the wife have to trace the causes of the misunderstanding and violence in the home. When your partner annoys you, do not say the first thing that comes to your mind. Control it and allow the Holy Spirit to teach you what to say at the moment. You can see later that you too are faulty no matter how small it is. (Mathew 5: 21-22); (Mathew 18: 15-17)
2. Think that you are at fault.
Whether you are a woman or a man, have an orientation that you too are at fault in the issue that occurs. When an issue arises, both the husband and the wife should locate the area he or she has been faulty and, take steps for apologies and reconciliations immediately. (2 Corinthians 13: 11), (Mathew 18: 15-17)
3. Submit sacrificially.
God commanded women to be submissive to their husbands. If the woman fails this, domestic violence will set in. Ephesians 5:21 talks about mutual submission. Ephesians 5:22–24 explains a wife’s submissiveness to her husband. It is a must for a woman to do sacrificially because God says your husband is the head of the wife.
4. Love unconditionally.
God commanded the husband to love his wife unconditionally. Ephesians 5: 25-33 talks about making a self-sacrificial love for the wife. If you still read first Peter 3:1–7, God gives similar instructions. Even, 1 Corinthians 7:4 plainly says that the wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. That is, the husband belongs to his wife and the wife belongs to his husband. Both belong to each other and are called to love each other as Christ loved us. Therefore, marriage is an image of Christ and the Church. A family who understands this will be far from domestic violence. (John 13: 34).
5. Watch your language use.
Your verbal and non-verbal communication in the home will go a long way in solidifying or scattering a family. Therefore, watch how you use your language when talking to your spouse or when you are addressing an issue (Ephesians 4: 29, 32). The reason is that you are brought up in different families. Ask the Holy Spirit to direct you. Many men send their wives to their parents while many women curse their husbands (James 3: 10). I think appreciative and encouraging talks are preferable to foul and discouraging talks.
6. Respect genuinely.
In marriage, your actions towards your spouse go a long way. You have to show a sense of respect in all ways. Do not treat your wife like a slave. You do not treat your wife/husband like your junior or subordinates in the office. Your life partner needs honor from you. Talk to her/him with respect; do not threaten her or embarrass her; do not disgrace her publicly; do not beat her; do not push and force her to do something. Instead, encourage her always. In the same vein, your husband is your crown. Do not take him for granted; do not disrespect him, even if you are older and richer than he is. Do not force him to help him in the home but encourage him to it (Ephesians 4: 32)
7. Work on sexual relations.
One of the purposes God created a union of marriage is to avoid illegal sexual relations. The purpose is expected to be fulfilled. If there is any sexual problem on one side, he or she should open for immediate solutions. If not, domestic violence will occur. Also, the husband should understand the menstrual period of his wife and give her time for the days. Domestic violence can arise if the husband makes attempts to force his wife (Ephesians 5: 3-5), Proverbs 6: 16-19)
8. Get to know emotional display.
Emotion takes different forms. If you belittle yourself or take each other for granted, domestic violence may set in. Also, if you turn your family or friends against your wife or your husband, domestic violence may set in. If there is constant aggression, anger, and happiness, be patient and find the best way to solve it. It should not be fire for fire (Romans 12: 17- 21), (Ephesians 4: 31)
9. Check family economic issues.
Lack or insufficient income to take care of the home, especially by the husband can cause domestic violence. If the wife has become a liability to her husband, domestic violence will still arise. No family can be sustained without finances. From another angle, if both the husband and the wife are not financially open to each other and how each of them spends money, domestic violence can set in. Both the husband and the wife should agree in prayers for financial prosperity and then open and plan how their income can be wisely spent (Romans 14: 19).
10. Understand psychological issues.
Many times, one may be going through a psychological issue that makes him or her behave or react differently. In that case, you should understand and suspend whatever discussion or the other things until the period is over. Attempting to interrupt or struggling to interfere may result in tense grievances and eventually in domestic violence (1 Corinthians 6: 1-3)
11. Exercise more patience.
There is an adage that says, “Patience cannot be enough.” This means that our patience in a Christian family cannot be more than necessary. Many constant misunderstandings are a result of a lack k of patience in studying and understanding individual characters. There are some issues we can let go of if we are patient (Galatians 6: 2).
12. Train your child in the way of the Lord.
The primary responsibility of the home is to train their children in the way of the Lord. When they grow up, they will not depart from it. God expects that children obey their parents (Ephesians 6:1–3). Psalm 127:3 said that children were a heritage from the Lord.
Therefore, God entrusts parents with children. The parents are to care for and love them. Ephesians 6:4 and Colossians 3: 21 also said that fathers should not exasperate their children and they should bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord instead. From another perspective, there should be an agreement in the training of the child. If there is any objection to the way one disciplines the child, they should discuss that in the absence of the child, not in his/her presence. If the step is wrong, domestic violence will arise.
13. Always pray together.
When there is a misunderstanding, do not ignore praying together. This is because a lot of grudges are discussed and solved in the family prayer sessions. When you ignore your family altar during domestic violence, it will stay long.
14. Consult a Christian counselor.
If domestic violence is constant and repeated, the concerned family should consult a mature and experienced Christian counselor who will put the family right (Romans 12: 18). After you have tried your best to resolve issues, but to no avail, Christian counseling can be of great value.
Christians are called to sacrificially love one another and this must manifest in the family. Let love be above all things.