Scriptures on Abuse and Domestic Violence

What does the Bible say about Abuse and Domestic abuse? Does it even address it? Are there scriptures on abuse and domestic violence? The simple answer is YES! Those who believe otherwise are delusional, or they need more information than they’ve had up until now.

First of all, it is NOT okay for one spouse to commit violence against the other. It is something God hates. Also, for those of you who are victims of abuse in your marriage, PLEASE don’t be fooled into thinking that you “deserve it.” You don’t. Your spouse may tell you this is so and saying that the Bible even condones it, but that is not true.

Abuse in Marriage

That’s why we have the topic, “Abuse in Marriage” that deals with this subject. We hope to help those who visit this web site become more aware of biblical truths concerning abuse.

That is also why we put together this article. The Bible says, The Lord examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates (Psalm 11:5). Anything God “hates” we should take note of and therefore, hate and reject it as well.

Violence is not something the Lord condones in the home. This is especially true within a Christian marriage where marriage is a living picture of Christ’s love for the church. Those who tell you that the Bible condones abuse in marriage are misguided and wrong.

To help prove this, lets look at what the Bible has to say about abuse. The following are web site links (to Focus Ministries and Suite 101) to articles you can click into so you can read:


More to Glean Through

These next two articles come from different web sites and hopefully, will help you further see that as Christians, we are wrong if we think that the Lord would sanction or condone abuse in the home.

The first article is written by Fiona Soltes and is posted on the web site for Lifeway Ministries. It gives an overall look at how Christians view abusive relationships and what they can and should do about it. Please click onto the link below to read:


This next article is posted on the web site where Bible teacher and author Mart De Haan reconsiders how he originally looked at abuse in marriage and what he’s since learned as he’s studied the Bible more in depth on this subject:



There is another excellent article, which is posted on web site. We believe you will find it helpful for those who are under the opinion that abuse is just about violence to the body. Yes, it is definitely that. But there is a whole mind set and behavioral pattern that includes control issues that go along with it as well.

The author Gwyneth Nelson never thought she would be involved in a marriage rocked by violence and control issues. That is because both she and her husband were Christians. As she said, “I couldn’t believe this was my reality and I couldn’t see a way out.” It’s a sad but true story of two people in love where abusive behavior became a way of life. Please click onto the link provided below to learn from and read:


— ALSO —

There are a number of insightful articles, which are posted on the web site for FOCUS Ministries on Domestic Violence. We believe you will find answers to some of your questions on this heart-wrenching issue. Rather than explain each one to you, we encourage you to choose the ones that apply to your marriage. To choose the articles you would like to read:


May we always:

Remember those in prison
as if you were their fellow prisoners,
and those who are mistreated
as if you yourselves were suffering

(Hebrews 13:3).

If You Are the Victim of Abuse:

We pray that the scriptures, and what you have learned through the additional linked articles provided, plus what is posted on the Marriage Missions web site —particularly in the “Abuse in Marriage” topic, will help you. Please reach out to the Lord and to those He provides to assist you, to find a place of safety and peace.

If you are an abuser, we pray your eyes will be opened. We hope you will reach out to the Lord and to those who can best help you, to stop the violence you are committing against your spouse. Today is the day to start the journey to bring peace into your home.

Finally, if you are a friend, family member, or someone who can make a difference to help those who are oppressed, we pray the Lord will empower and lead you to do what it takes to bring help, hope and peace into homes that are racked by violence.

This article was compiled by Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International.

If you have additional tips you can share to help others, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.

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99 responses to “Scriptures on Abuse and Domestic Violence

  1. I want to believe that God can do something radical and life-changing to my emotionally abusive husband whom I have separated from. I was hoping to have read examples of how God changed the heart of the abusive man; much in the same way that he changes the heart of the sinner to become righteous.

  2. My father verbally, mentally, physically abused all of my four siblings for all of our lives. He would hold us by our throat against the wall to where our feet would not touch the floor. I remember as a little girl looking around for my mom to help and she was always walking away. She would go to her room and shut the door and allow it to happen. My father beat and killed one of our pets in front of my brother to punish him.

    I know now that God is my father and loves me unconditionally. My sister-in-law thinks that my parents will still go to heaven despite what they did without having to say I’m sorry. what does the Bible say will happen to people who do this to their children and never make any effort to make it better? Please I would like to know.

    I want to know does the Bible automatically forgive the parents when this happened? My sister-in-law just told me that the Bible will automatically forgive them without them having to ask for it. I really need to know the answer to whether God automatically forgive them or do they need to ask for forgiveness. I have forgiven them but have been praying for them everyday that God softens their heart and realize what damage they have done so they can at least say I’m sorry and beg God for forgiveness.

    Does God honestly just automatically forgive them? Because it was absolutely horrible what we went through on a daily basis. It has caused one of my brothers to try suicide twice, me twice, my sister just doesn’t care about anyone. One brother ran away and we haven’t seen him since. I have recently been saved and have forgiven them but always thought you had to accept Jesus as your savior and admit what you’ve done and try to help the people that you hurt. Why my sister-in-law told me no you don’t have to do that but they will be forgiven and will go to heaven that totally confused me. Please answer me this question.

    1. Fran, How sad I am for you that you experienced the abuse you did as a child –it was absolutely wrong in every way. Parents are supposed to support and help you to grow healthy, and strong, not weaken their children by assaulting them. My heart cries for you that you had to suffer in this way. But I rejoice that you will now be experiencing more and more freedom in Christ. We are now sisters :)

      I need to say that your sister-in-law may be well meaning in wanting to extend forgiveness to all, but she is misguided. We receive forgiveness when we personally ask for it, not just because we’re alive. The price Jesus paid on the cross is not cheap… it was bought with a price. What is required is to be sorry for your sin, ask for forgiveness from God through the forgiveness Jesus gives, and then repent (turn away from sinful ways).

      Read your Bible and you will see that spoken about over and over again; it talks about forgiveness being given when we ask for it sincerely. We’re told in the Bible, in 1 John 1:9 that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” There IS a condition –we must ask for it from God. But we must know that God knows the difference between empty words and true confession. Your parents would need to confess with sincere hearts, and then by God’s grace, they will be forgiven. It doesn’t erase the wrongness of what they did, but the blood of Christ covers the penalty required of God for the sins committed. Sometimes there are still human consequences that they may have to go through (God doesn’t erase that), but God grants forgiveness on His part.

      I am so proud of you Fran, that you are able to forgive –that will free YOU, especially. Praying for them is important. Please look through the Bitterness and Forgiveness topic, particularly the Quotes part of it so you will better understand forgiveness and the many aspects of it. You can find it at: You may want to refer your sister-in-law to it, as well. She most likely means well, but she does not grasp the truth as much as she should.

      I pray for you Fran… My love and prayers go out to you. “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ to whom be the glory for ever and ever.” (Hebrews 13:20-21) I encourage you: “As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” (Colossians 2:6-7)

      1. Thank you very much for your reply. I just made another statement on the website but I made an error. My father killed my brother’s pet in front of him because he did not put his laundry up. I am hard of hearing and I did not proofread what I said earlier today so it came out that he killed my brother. He did not kill my brother he killed my brother’s pet in front of him. I remember hiding and begging my mother to make him stop but all my mother did was just walk into the room and close the door.

        I have an absolutely wonderful church called Thrive Port Orange Florida that God sent me to. When my sister-in-law told me that it just absolutely left me speechless. I told her that you have to accept Jesus Christ as your savior and repent and ask for forgiveness from the people you have harmed. This has to be sincerely felt and not just said. She told me I was wrong. Thank you very much for your reply; it has helped me tremendously. God bless.

    2. My name is Fran and I’m just found out something else from my brother. My father being killed my brother had in front of him because he did not put his laundry up. I talked with my fiance last night and he said absolutely you do have to accept Jesus Christ as your savior and repent your sins and try to live a Christian Life. We will sometimes fail because we are human but God knows what’s in our heart and that we are trying.

      Is there anyone out there who agrees with my sister in law that you don’t have to repent in order to be forgiven? You don’t have to accept Jesus Christ as your savior and you don’t have to try to live a Christian life in order to be saved. She and I have been friends for years and has always been a Christian and when she said this is just left me speechless. I understand now with God’s help that it was them who had the problem and they were trying to deflect their problems onto me and my siblings. If anyone can you help me with this situation, please help me. God bless and prayers always. Thank you.

      1. Hi Fran, First of all , I would like to say that I am very sorry you had to endure such mistreatment at the hands of the person who is supposed to be your protector and provider when you are a young child…. Terrible! I admire you for coming through so well and am so thankful that you realize that God is your Father and He loves you unconditionally. It took me MANY years to appreciate this wonderful truth. My youth also involves abuse of several kinds.

        Whenever we have such questions, we need to go to Scripture and see what Scripture says. See what you think of these references below:

        I address each of your sister in law’s phrases as follows:
        “you don’t have to repent in order to be forgiven”
        Luke 13 v3 and v5. ” I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
        Mark 1 v14, 15 Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel and saying, “the time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe in the gospel.”

        1 Peter 2 v24 “and He Himself bore our sins on the Cross so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness, for by His wounds you were healed.” (“Die to sin” is a willful decision with the same meaning as “repent” (which means to change your direction away from sin and toward what is good, as Cindy said earlier)

        Romans 6 v1,2 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace might increase? v2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” Clearly Paul is speaking to Christians who understand that an essential element of their standing as Christians includes “dying to sin”

        “You don’t have to accept Jesus Christ as your savior”: The Bible tells us, John 3 v16 “God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 14 v6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Romans 10 v9 “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, then you shall be saved.” Ephesians 2 v8,9 “For by grace you have been saved, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not as a result of (good) works, so that no one can boast.”

        “you don’t have to try to live a Christian life in order to be saved.” – Strictly speaking, this is true. Living the Christian life, or trying to live the Christian life, in itself, does NOT in itself, save a person. This would amount to earning your salvation by works.
        Ephesians 2 v8,9 “For by grace you have been saved, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not as a result of (good) works, so that no one can boast.”

        HOWEVER, it is clear that James Chapter 2 teaches us that when a person is truly saved, that that person will have no real desire for sinful ways. He may slip, or make the odd mistake, or wrong decision, but these are occasional. When a person practices sinful ways, this is a “different animal” Then that person should question whether they are really saved.

        Addictions, compulsive behaviors, etc. not withstanding, when a person “pursues sinful habits” then the waters “become very cloudy” indeed. We are not in a position to assess (judge) such things, the final judgement belongs to God alone. See in particular James 2 v20-23. Here Abraham obeys God and offers Isaac. His faith is strong, he truly believes God, and therefore obeys God even though the degree of difficulty is extreme. His works (the act of offering Isaac) is proof that his faith is real.

        To conclude, I think the above is in agreement with your statement here below:
        “I talked with my fiancé last night and he said absolutely you do have to accept Jesus Christ as your savior and repent your sins and try to live a Christian Life. We will sometimes fail because we are human but God knows what’s in our heart and that we are trying.”

        The above Scriptures, in my opinion, go against your sister in law’s position, as I believe I have shown above. I hope this helps! God is looking after you Fran!! Take care of yourself!! WP (Work in Progress – I am a husband married 36 years with 2 adult children)

  3. I agree with this post but I am so lost in court system and my opening up about domestic violence and sexual abuse. The law sees minor complaints of reports in others who report, so they think these are all made up stories and he has not broken the law. So what really is sexual abuse and verbal abuse? If he has exposes himself to children and attacks another woman and her child, sexually talks to children, and exposes himself to an elderly woman… is that sexual harassment? They say it’s just bad parenting and there is not enough proof to say he is a breaker of the law but his bad behavior is part of my divorcing him and bad parenting.

    They say even if he has criminal records it does not take his right away for visitation. I have been forced to allow it even though in my heart and in biblical standards he broke the law. But legally the CPS and Law does not see it this way. What am I supposed do, go on and trust the court and the lawyer? It’s just hard that my words against him on my observations are not enough to show them to prevent visitation. What’s wrong with this System? It’s hard when a Pastor denied he molested a child even though he told others in the church, yet he denied it to the police.

    My heart is being torn apart listening to how the courts and law sees it but it’s not enough when I am being honest from my heart, and am trying to be a protective mother as a Christian to prevent any more abuse from him or a bad relationship that is destroying my children.

    I need you Lord, even more after losing the battle with the court not believing me. They question why it has taken me so long leave him, but now they are using abuse as an excuse saying it is a bad divorce. This so wrong. I was so love blinded and my pastor told me to stick with marriage, brush the abuse under the rug, and made me feel at fault.

    I’ve prayed hard. I know the Lord does not want a wife or children to be in an abusive relationship that does not show Christ’s love and is in need of repentance. I gave him one year but he went into another relationship without us, not even divorced yet. Is this right or biblical? It hurt me deeply. It’s just so hard to believe the Court is not protecting me and the children properly. My testimony is not enough. I want to trust the Court to do the right thing but it seems it is not properly handled. As a Christian it is just so hard to see where God is working in this or is showing me what to do. The court is tearing me apart. I want peace to know legally that I will be protected. But I trust God to protect me, even though the court should do better to believe me.

    1. Hi Beverly, I hope my answer is not too late… In your first paragraph, your descriptions certainly sounds like sexual harassment/abuse to me. This clearly goes beyond “bad parenting.” However, it is the proof, which is difficult. We had the same problems with our daughter when she was in a similarly abusive relationship for 8 years. Proving the boyfriend did what my daughter alleged was very difficult. Therefore the boyfriend, and father of my daughter’s oldest little girl, is allowed visitation rights, similar to what you are describing. The boyfriend also has a criminal record, similar to your situation. Your situation sounds very much like that of our daughter… she was love blinded too.

      No, we do not have to trust the lawyers and the court system. We need to trust God… and do our part and leave the rest to Him. This sounds easy but you and I both know it is NOT easy. However, I think you will agree that there is no other option. (Would we really want another option?) Why we had to go through 8 years of anguish not knowing what would happen to our daughter, I do not know. We still do not know everything which happened to her. We do know that God has taken care of her, and of our granddaughter. They’re both fine now. My daugher is now with another fine young man and they’re buiding a family together. The former boyfriend still has visitation rights to our granddaughter, but all indications are that these visits are going well. This is clearly God’s work!! All I can say is that continued trust in God, as hard as it looks now, is the best way to go. I hope you read this text… and that we hear from you… WP (Work in Progress)

  4. I am so glad there is a website for this. After twenty years of abuse I quit taking it, but never did I feel I should forgive or turn a cheek; I fought the whole time. I did believe however that God wanted me to stay in the marriage, and with change finally upon us, believe this was his will. However, didn’t know about boundaries and do wish I did. Right now I am privy to several Christians who tell me God says forgive and turn your cheek and those things we’ve heard for years, and I haven’t found a way to combat what the churches do not have sermons about, but instead make the abuser who is sitting in church feel like they are forgiven because God forgives – not because they have repented or made amends or even owned their sin – so they continue being abusive. I have many poems on the subject I hope to one day have published as it’s a silent killer.

  5. Hi everyone. Recovery of sight for the blind. When my eyes were opened to truth I immediately left the relationship. It just wasn’t healthy. I wasted alot of years hoping for change and all I ended up doing was subduing me and being controlled. Freedom in Christ is becoming confident, laughing again, not lonely a daughter of the king. I’ve been five years healing trusting God daily and I have no desire to find anyone I believe in his will. Trust. I bless the peace I’ve been given the time to heal. Whatever state I’m in I’m content. It all starts with a prayer for help. Just ask and He will come and direct, guide, lead and meet all your needs. The helper. It’s awesome and over and over again day by day he shows you the way. Fills your heart. I’m not the person I was. Just trust, ask, believe and recieve the gospel. Living water. God bless. Its true.xx

  6. My husband and I were separated 2 months ago after he beat me half dead and I got injured on my head and shoulder. Then I opened assault case, he got arrested for 2 nights when he got released me and my 2 daughters went to my mum’s where only my 2 younger brothers stay. Then I found a prophetic church that helped me to find it in my heart to forgive him then he was advised by my friend to follow me to the same church if he wanted to save his marriage.

    After our court case I decided to forgive him but was reluctant to go back to our house the prophet advised that I must go back home as I have made peace with my huvby then she came to cast out evil spirits and said it’s safe for me to go back then o went back.

    Last night we argued so much that I feel he is still emotionally abusive and may end up hurting us all in the house and think I should file for divorce. My first child is his stepdaughter and said she is not happy with the way her step father is running the household especially the way he is always against everything she does.

  7. My daughter is in a abusive marriage and she is trying to be obiendent to God. Her church says if she isn’t obedient to God her children will be punished. Can you give me scripture you can get a divorce when you are in an abusive relationship?

  8. My husband’s abuse started around the same time I was released from the hospital after a 5 month stretch. Prior to that I thought we had a happy marriage. His abuse was verbal and emotional at first. But eventually it escalated into physical. The physical abuse was not nearly as awful as the combined verbal/emotional abuse. But having finally come home from the hospital I was terribly vulnerable already. As the abuse continued he then did everything in his power to try to turn our children against me – often belittling me in front of them. Most of the time the physical abuse only occurred when our kids were in school.

    We are now separated and my family (parents and siblings) suggested that I should allow them to live with him…as the abuse was always targeted toward me. And he had never physically abused them. As a Christian I attended a Lutheran church. But some time later I was invited to another church- a more Bible focused church. I now believe Jesus guided me there. I pray for him sometimes- but not as often as I think I should.

    Truth be told I spend far more time praying for my kids. My children seem to be adjusting well and with God’s grace they continue to do well in school. My husband continues to try to (hurt) me now in other ways. He is suing me for child support even though he knows he earns 5 times more than me now. I received the court orders for that on our anniversary date. When we arrived at court he told the judge that he only makes $900 per month. His profession as a bartender allows him to hide his income- because most of it in tips.

    I am not sure if I should divorce him or not. And I am not sure if I should fight him for the spousal support I need. The truth is with all of this praying I find myself mostly praying for peace. My biggest fear (now that I do have a PFA) is that if and when I return to work he may then be suing me for spousal support. I am trying desperately to try to put my life back together but at this point I really do not know how to proceed.

  9. I forgot to mention something else. And I am not entirely sure this would fall under verbal abuse or not but my husband started calling me a “poser” because I attended church every Sunday. I like to sit in the front of the church due to my poor eyesight and lastly because I also taught Sunday school. I am not sure if they were the most hurtful remarks but they seem to be the ones that I am having the hardest time letting go of.

    1. Patricia, If you are a “poser” then so am I, and so is my husband. We like to sit in the front of the church too. It is not for show that we do this, but because we can better pay attention and not be distracted by other people. And we have taught many levels of Sunday School classes, from children to adults. Again, what is the motive? Is it to appear important? Absolutely not! We do it because we feel God tugging at our hearts to do this. It’s not about how others see us, but rather how we feel God is calling us to serve Him, and help others.

      Just make sure that your motives are pure, and that you aren’t doing this to impress anyone. If your motives and actions are pure, then God is most pleased. If your husband looks at you and judges you for this, then the problem is his, not yours. Just humbly hold your head up high and put your focus on God. People criticized Jesus and John the Baptist (and still do), so you are in good company. From what you said previously in your last post, your husband is just trying to find other ways to hurt you. But please don’t fall for it. You need God’s guidance now, more than ever. Your husband is not your Holy Spirit and neither are you his. So pray for him, your children and yourself to have open eyes to see God at work, and follow His guidance as you seek His guidance.

      You asked in your previous posting if you should divorce your husband. Please know that I can’t tell you (and neither should any other human being) whether you should divorce your husband. That is between you and God. I do believe you should protect yourself and your children, mentally and physically (if his behavior ever becomes abusive towards them). But beyond that, you really need divine guidance. Some marriage relationships improve with time and effort –others do not. I don’t know what will happen with yours. But God does. Seek His guidance and don’t let your husband hinder that. That I do know for sure. I pray God gives you insight and wisdom as you seek Him. I pray for you and your children and your husband –that God will help you to find peaceable ways to live out your lives. “May the Lord direct your heart into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.” (2 Thessalonians 3:5)

      1. Cindy thank you for your comments. I always felt that God was calling my presence and service at church as you described. And your feedback helped me realize that following my heart as you stated as the right path – and nothing to apologize for or be ashamed of. I cannot thank you enough!

        1. Thank you Patricia, I appreciate your kind words. How I pray that your husband opens his eyes to see the jewel he has in you. How I pray that as you reach out to the Lord that you will find peace, even in the midst of the storm. How I pray that your family will find that peaceful place where you can look behind and thank God for the grace, peace, and love you can experience because of your faith in Him. “May the Lord direct your heart into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.” (2 Thessalonians 3:5)

  10. Its important for couples to stay in peace because peace creates an opportunity for growth in all areas. Couples to treat their marriage with respect, love, dignity and mutual agreement.

    1. Yes… Why would you think otherwise since you made a comment and now it is posted? So yes, this site still exists.