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