Several weeks have passed since the explosive Ray Rice video surfaced. The attention, rather than quieting down, has taken on a life of its own. What is society’s role in ‘family’ issues? How should the Christian community respond to the issue of domestic violence? Most importantly, what does God say about marriage and family relationships?
Ephesians 5:31-33 31 As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. 33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Ephesians 6:3-4 3 If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.” 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord. (NLT)
It is impossible to tune in to any media outlet and not hear yet another instance of family violence. Stories that shock the senses…stories that have brought me to tears. The reports range from what the NFL did ‘wrong’ and who should be fired for it, to heartbreaking family massacres. What is going on? Sinful people living in a fallen world, that’s what.
Family violence is nothing new. Out of jealousy, Cain lured his brother away and killed him in the field.
Genesis 4:7-9 7 You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”
8 One day Cain suggested to his brother, “Let’s go out into the fields.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him. (NLT)
Joseph’s brothers planned to kill him but chose instead to sell him for a profit. King David’s adultery with Bathsheba led him to orchestrate the death of a loyal soldier on the battlefield. Judas sold out his Master, Jesus, to the pharisees for 30 pieces of silver. The violence Jesus suffered as a result of his betrayal is incomprehensible. So great was the burden of guilt for Judas that he then hanged himself.
Our world has never been free of violence. It never will be. Is family violence, here in America, on the increase? Or just our sensitivity to it? If it is, what are we doing wrong?
Advocates have fought for the right for women to become firefighters, police officers, and to fight in combat. For years, women have been told that ‘a woman can do anything a man can do.’ Men are told that women are their ‘equal.’ The facts are we are equal and we are different… and that is how God created us.
Now, those same people point out a woman’s weakness and tell her she needs someone to defend her. Now they treat her as if she is incapable of deciding what is best for herself and her family? Indeed, there are cases of abuse that need to be handled by authorities. There are those who do need help to recognize and remove themselves from dangerous situations. We should support these women and educate them to recognize when they need to seek help.
It is not, however, Roger Goodell’s responsibility to solve the problem of domestic violence. Nor is it the role of the NFL. A football organization is not a social service. Will all employers now be expected to perform their own investigations into the lives of their employees?
The reasons for violence can be as serious as an abusive childhood, or alcohol and drug use. The reasons can also be physical problems, failure control a temper, or ignorance of the fact that violence is wrong. Still, at its root, it is sin. People cannot solve the problem of sin. There is only One remedy for sin. – Jesus Christ, who can restore and make all things new.
People need the Lord – but that’s politically incorrect to suggest.
… They prefer to offer them an NFL commissioner instead.