Many women have faced childhood, domestic, and other forms of abuse. Christian women often find abuse hard to deal with; sometimes they mistakenly believe putting up with abuse glorifies God. God condemns abuse, and does not call women to put up with it. Abusive situations are even more difficult without Scriptural encouragement.
“Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly.” This is perhaps the most direct command against abuse in the Bible. Additionally, “never treat them harshly” covers many kinds of abuse. Many men justify verbal and psychological abuse because, “At least I’m not hitting my wife.” This type of “invisible” abuse is as bad, if not worse than, physical abuse. God considers it unacceptable and will stand up for women who experience it.
This passage reminds us we are God’s children, invited to call him “abba.” In Hebrew, “Abba” means “papa” or “daddy,” connoting an intimate and loving relationship. Abused women can cling to this passage as evidence that their abba in heaven sees what is happening to them and will love them through it. He will never side with an abusive spouse or other relative. Many women assume because God is male, He is abusive; Romans 8:14-16 directly contradicts this idea.
This verse states Jesus intends for us to have abundant life. This doesn’t mean a perfect life; suffering is part of living in our fallen world. Suffering doesn’t mean putting up with abuse when you don’t have to. When the opportunity to escape an abusive situation presents itself, take it. Then watch as God restores spiritual abundance to you.