He Who Loves His Wife Loves Himself

by Theodosia Hareas

January 2019
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In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church”
— Ephesians 5:28-30

This powerful scripture is the ground by which a marriage seed is planted and grows. Yet, a recent UN Global report found that Domestic Violence is the number one killer of women across the globe and the home was the most dangerous place for a woman. 

Domestic Violence is about power and control. It does not happen overnight. The psychological manipulation of the victim is done to break them down so that they can no longer think for themselves. The abuser isolates the victim from family and friends so that he is in constant control and the only one to influence her. He may not allow her to work outside the home or make her quit the current job she has. She may stop attending family events and church-making up excuses to hide bruises and signs of the abuse. This is why it is a silent suffering. 

A victim’s very existence begins to revolve around following the will of the abuser not their own or God’s because they fear the brutal and sometimes fatal consequences to themselves and their children. 

The abuser intimidates the victim financially by restricting access to family money or making her ask for money for things as simple as gas, groceries or something the victim needs. When he does give her money it is often not the amount she needs or is in a humiliating way to let her know he is in control.

Each day when a woman is not seen as an equal in making decisions and her input not wanted or validated, she loses a part of herself until she becomes a hollow shell of her former once vibrant self. Victims believe they have nothing and are nothing this world-this is the power he holds over her. The constant psychological, emotional, sexual and even financial abuse is terrifying. The abuse can continue for the entire length of the marriage…. a marriage that began with love in the church when the couple took their first steps together and their union was blessed by God.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love...” 
— I John 4:18