Reflect Christ's Love In Your Marriage

An Islamic council of clerics and scholars in Pakistan has proposed a bill that will make it legal to lightly beat your wife. The chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology, Muhammad Kahn Sherani, said, “If you want her to mend her ways, you should first advise her. . . . If she refuses, stop talking to her . . . stop sharing a bed with her, and if things do not change, get a bit strict.”

Things that justify a light beating? Talking too loudly, refusing sex without a religious reason, not bathing after sex or having a period, defying her husband’s commands, refusing to dress how he wants her to, and giving money to someone without her husband’s permission. 

It’s not like this is a new concept in Islam. In Quran, Surah 4:34 it says, “If the wife disobeys, beat her.” And it’s not like this is a new idea in Pakistan. In 2011 the Thomson Reuters Foundation Poll estimated that 90 percent of Pakistani women are subjects of domestic violence, making it the third most dangerous country to be a woman.

This time, though, many Pakistani women aren’t taking this light beating idea lightly. With the social media campaign #TryBeatingMeLightly, women are posting what their response would be.

It is absolutely right to be stunned and offended by the Islamic council ruling. The God of the Bible who created marriage says it is a one-flesh relationship where the husband would sacrifice even his own life out of love for his wife. Marriage is a picture of Christ and his Bride, the Church, and domestic violence has no place in it. But it still happens. So even as we decry this ruling, America—and the churches in America—need to look at the problem in our own homes.

Here is the reality in our own country*: 

  • Over 30 percent of all murders of women in America are committed by intimate partners.
  • Four million incidents of domestic violence are reported each year. But up to 90 percent of women never report it.
  • A woman is battered in the United States by a partner, on average, every 12 to 15 seconds.
  • 50 percent of homeless women and children in America are running from domestic violence.
  • And in the Christian community? One in every four women experiences family violence.

So what can you as a member of the body of Christ do? 

  1. Listen to her story and believe her. It took a lot of courage just to tell you. Take the time to listen and not question her. 
  2. Keep the information confidential. Again, it took so much courage to open up. Don’t tell anyone else, even under the guise of asking for prayers. Let her tell the people she wants to tell.
  3. Be supportive. Don’t tell her what to do. She is living with someone who has been controlling her. Let her regain control.
  4. Encourage her to tell the authorities. This is a legal matter, and they can help protect her.
  5. Help her seek support from a shelter. Daily, the people who work in shelters see the pain this inflicts. They know (better than untrained people) how to help these women be safe and heal.
  6. Don’t blame her or remove your support if she doesn’t leave her husband. God doesn’t love us because of how we act. So don’t base your love and support on her actions too.
  7. Pray with her. The God of the universe has his heart broken when his creation is hurting. Talk to him and ask him to bring justice.

* http://www.focusministries1.org


Linda Buxa is a writer, Bible study leader, and retreat speaker. She is thankful for a husband who loves and cherishes her and prays for those who don’t feel safe in their homes.

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