Question: My husband constantly loses his temper. Sometimes he throws things, other times he hits me or pushes me around. It's getting worse. I've tried to make him happy but nothing works for very long. I am trying to honor God and stay with him but I'm afraid. The kids are also seeing all of this. Deep down I know he's hurting. At times he can be very loving. How I help him stop? Wendy in CA
Answer: October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This month's newsletter is devoted to answering this topic from a Biblical Perspective. If you'd like a copy, please sign up for it on my website at http://www.leslievernick.com.
I'm so sad you're living like this. In order for it to stop however, you have to begin to think differently about what's going on. This is not what God intends for you, your children, or even your husband. I don't think it honors God for you to continue to allow your husband to grieviously sin against you and your children with no consequences. I'm sure you've already told him that you don't like the way he treats you when he gets mad. If not, start there. However, my guess is that he's blaming you for his outbursts of anger. Stop letting him. He is fully responsible for the way he behaves when he's upset or angry.
Second don't buy the idea that he can't help himself. If he's able to control himself from becoming violent in other settings when he's angry, then he's capable of doing it at home. The reason he doesn't is that he gets away with it at home. If he acted that way in other settings, he'd be fired from his job or arrested. Next time he hits or pushes you, call the police. What he is doing is wrong and illegal. At this point, the consequences of sitting in jail and, or separating yourself and the children from him are the only one's that will get his full attention.
Third, this is not a submission issue. Biblically, husband's are never permitted to intimidate or bully their wives into submission. Biblical submission is a voluntary position individuals take in obedience to Christ. It cannot be forced or coerced or it is not submission. If you'd like to read more about the proper use of headship and submission click here. http://www.leslievernick.com/pdfs/UnderstandingBiblicalAuthority.pdf..
You can't change him, but, with God's help and wisdom, you can begin to change yourself. So right now, I'd encourage you to get the help and support you need to impliment the steps above. I know they may feel very scary and overwhelming. You may not be able to do them right now. But work on getting yourself healthier so that you are strong enough someday to invite your husband into healthy change.
My books How to Act Right when your Spouse Acts Wrong and The Emotionally Destructive Relationship will help you on that journey.
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